The Mayo Clinic Diet blog

Embrace spring, recharge your weight loss efforts

By Donald Hensrud, M.D. March 24, 2011

In Minnesota, where one of the sites of Mayo Clinic is located, the winters are long.  So, this time of year people are anxiously awaiting springlike weather. This can be a great time of year to recharge your weight loss efforts.

As you move outside in the spring, you naturally become more active. Spring cleaning in the garage, working in the yard, and just moving around in the warmer weather all contribute to burning more calories. In fact, there's some evidence that it may be easier to lose weight in the spring for this reason.

Getting a garden plot ready not only increases activity, but also sets the stage for wonderful vegetables in late spring and summer. Because vegetables differ as to when they're ready to harvest, it's possible to have various types of greens early on, followed by sweet peas, peppers, carrots, squash, and many others as the growing season progresses.

By planting different varieties of tomatoes, they can be enjoyed for many weeks (my favorite is the sweet, small, orange Sun Golds!). If you don't have a garden, support your local farmer's market.  Even regular grocery stores often have good specials on whatever is in season.

Take advantage of the warmer weather and incorporate regular activity into your schedule and seasonal foods into your diet. Instead of New Year's resolutions, make some springtime resolutions. Make it part of your lifestyle to go for a walk in the evening. It's a great way to see the neighborhood, burn some calories, and I guarantee you'll feel better. Although it takes a little time, what better way to spend it? After your walk (or before), prepare a seasonal garden salad as part of your dinner.

Embracing spring can be a great way to experience the change of seasons, shed some of those winter pounds, and enjoy improving your health. If you have springtime activities or foods you'd like to share with others, please let us know.

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March 24, 2011